[Charlotte Stear checks in with a preview of some of the films screening at London’s FrightFest, which runs August 23 through 27.]
The horror festival season – that exciting time of year when horror fans around the world seek out their nearest venue to load up on the latest gory offerings – is nearly upon us. Over in London, they are mere weeks away from the thirteenth annual FrightFest, and the lineup is set to be one of the best yet. Here are a few films to keep your eyes on so you’ll be ahead of the curve when they reach these shores. (Unless, of course, you’re fortunate enough to be going, you lucky bastards; in that case, these are ones you shouldn’t miss.)
For some time now, Rue Morgue has kept a bloodshot eyeball trained on Brandon Cronenberg’s feature film debut. Now that the trailer for Antiviral has hit the web, it seems a pretty safe bet that the younger Cronenberg is poised to live up to his dad’s name. (Brandon is, of course, the son of legendary filmmaker David Cronenberg.) No pressure, though.
Antiviral imagines a not-too-distant future when celebrity diseases are hot commodities. Give the trailer a watch, and spend the rest of the day disinfecting everything you might want to touch. Off to boil my doorknobs…
Yeah, I know — there is absolutely nothing new about skewering horror movie conventions in a snarky, post-modern manner. But it’s still fun when it’s done well, and this short film by Stephen Vitale hits a few of the right notes and made me laugh. Besides taking pokes at slasher flicks, J-horror movies, and the Final Girl trope, Structure Kill also takes the piss out of parking garage scenes. Now if only someone could figure out how to take the piss out of parking garages…
Thanks to Film School Rejects for putting this one on my radar by making Structure Kill their Short Film of the Day.
There are 128 days standing between us and Halloween, which means there are, um, less than 128 but still a lot of days before the Toronto After Dark Film Festival kicks off on October 18. Luckily, you don’t have to wait that long to get a fix. This Wednesday is the first of two Summer Screening Nights hosted by Toronto After Dark. Starting at 7pm at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor St. West), you can catch the Cuban zombie flick Juan of the Dead and the creepy supernatural thriller The Pact. The July 11 screening will feature the horror/sci-fi/comedy mash-up Detention, followed by the much buzzed-about found-footage anthology V/H/S. And none of this conflicts with Rue Morgue’s Cinemacabre Movie Nights screening of Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut on Thursday, July 19, so you have no tough decisions to make!
The tenth installment of Little Terrors is coming up on Tuesday, June 19 at The Projection Booth (1035 Gerrard St. East) in Toronto.
In case you’re new, Little Terrors is a monthly short film showcase co-presented by Rue Morgue and production company Unstable Ground. Every month, Justin McConnell and his pals cherry-pick the best genre shorts from all over the world — and by “best” I mean the nuttiest, goriest, most off-the-wall shit they can find. It’s a two-hour program of films shown on the big screen, followed by an in-depth Q&A/meet-and-greet with some of the filmmakers. This is an 18-and-up event, so please leave the kiddies at home. (I’m sure that nice clown who lives in the sewers would be willing to take them off your hands for the evening.)
We’ve had more than our fair share of strange interns at the House of Horror over the years. There was that mouth-breather who smelled like formaldehyde, the guy who thought he was Hunter S. Thompson, and then the pack of feral rejects that we keep in the basement to perform menial tasks (like feeding the gnarly humanoid versions of the staff that we’ve manufactured to replace us when the zombie apocalypse happens).
Lately, however, we’ve actually been really fortunate to have had some awesome interns skulking around the building, including Patrick Dolan, the congenial gentleman who composed these two Cinemacabre reviews after we locked him in the chapel screening room with only a stack of ‘rays and whatever barely edible sustenance we could slide under the door.
[Fabien Delage, our resident expert on all things gruesome and Gallic, was recently lured onto the set of the upcoming horror flick Fever. We're assuming he made it out alive, since he filed this report on his set visit...]
In April I was given the chance to visit the set of Fever (Fièvre), the first feature film from Romain Basset, the new name in French fantastic cinema. After making several short films, including Bloody Current Exchange with Gaspar Noé regular Philippe Nahon, Basset served as first assistant director on “Mother of Toads,” Richard Stanley’s segment for the horror anthology film The Theatre Bizarre. Two years later, Basset tackled a project he’d had in mind for a long time: a horrific film – and definitely a baroque one – in which family plots and horrifying, nightmarish visions intermingle in a dreamlike and disturbing atmosphere. It’s a film that should appeal to fans who are dissatisfied with the current state of “French fantastic”; in Fever, you can expect to see a revival of French cinéma de genre.
No matter how bad your prom turned out (surely you couldn’t have thought that crushed velvet, plaid tuxedo was a good idea?), it’s 100% guaranteed not to have been as horrifying as the one Brett experiences at the hands of Lola, the hot-pink teen terror stuck to the cover of the June issue of RM#123, in a deranged prom-gone-wrong flick from Down Under called THE LOVED ONES. Some girls just won’t take no for an answer, no matter how much it hurts. ON STANDS JUNE 1! Also available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, PC and Mac for only $4.99 an issue.
And for those in the Toronto area, don’t miss out on our Cinemacabre Movie Night 35mm presentation of The Loved Ones TOMORROW NIGHT (Thursday, May 17) at The Toronto Underground Cinema (186 Spadina Ave., just north of Queen St.) @ 9:30 p.m. and for just ten bucks!
Click past the jump to go all the way…
[Grown-up Monster Kid Paul Counelis checks in with a Q&A with Frankenstein & Me director Robert Tinnell.]
Many of us Monster Kids cut our fangs on the Universal Monster classics; my own first horror movie was 1941’s The Wolf Man. There’s just something about the imagery of those wonderful black-and-white, atmospheric flicks with the classic Jack Pierce makeup and the underrated but extremely memorable performances of horror icons like Karloff, Lugosi, Chaney Jr., and the rest of the gang that make even today’s modern Monster Kids take pause.
Ever since, there have been a host of films and TV shows that have paid homage to those beloved monsters. They vary in quality, with some failing to capture the charm and atmosphere that made the originals so much fun while others, such as 1987’s Monster Squad, work on quite a few different levels. Robert Tinnell’s Frankenstein & Me (1997) falls into the latter category, serving as both a successful bridge for younger horror fans and a throwback romp that can sweep adults away.
[RM contributor Peter Gutiérrez treats us to a Q&A with the writers/directors of the Israeli horror film Rabies.]
To supplement the May issue’s feature on Israeli horror, the following is offered for your reading pleasure: an interview with two undisputed leaders of that scene. Navot Papushado and Aharon Keshales, the co-writers/directors of last year’s festival circuit hit Rabies (Kalevet), are actually busy at the moment shooting their second feature, so we’re doubly thrilled they took time to shed light on some of the mysteries of their first one. If you haven’t seen Rabies—and many still haven’t, unfortunately, because it never really enjoyed a North American theatrical or VOD run—then by all means seek out its recent DVD release from Image Entertainment or catch it via Amazon Instant. It’s the kind of slyly revisionist slasher flick that generates tremendous word-of-mouth, but you probably shouldn’t wait until one of your friends starts foaming about it.